Why donate to a non non-profit?
We recently added a "donate" button to our website, as per requests from people who are passionate about ending gendered violence. But we do get the question "Why don't you become a non-profit?" That is what most people tend to think of when giving donations, but the non-profit route does not make sense for all companies.
It typically takes about six months to set up a non-profit status, with the help from lawyers. The process includes writing by-laws, filing paperwork, reporting detailed financial information, and creating a board. Here are some issues that Heart Consulting had to think about when deciding whether or not to go the non-profit route:
1. The administrative work: it takes a lot of work to stay on top of reporting to the government the information they need to remain in good non-profit standing. At this point in our agency's journey, we do not have the man power and resources to keep up with this administrative work, and would prefer to focus our time on providing quality services directly to the people that need them.
2. Conflicts of interest: within the by laws, there needs to be guidelines on conflicts of interest. This includes a rule that the president of the board cannot be paid to provide direct services. Our founder and director wants to continue to be able to provide services to clients directly, and needs to continue this work in order to complete the professional counseling requirements. Thus, an outside person would need to be brought in to take control of the board.
We feel that we can provide great services at no cost to people with disabilities without the non-profit status. We are passionate about serving everyone who needs education, advocacy, or counseling, but can't do it all alone.
All donations go directly toward keeping psychoeducational and support groups for people with disabilities running, at no cost to participants. In addition, extra funds may be used for someone during a transition in their life, when they need services but do not yet have the funding secured (i.e. Medicaid and Long Term Care System funding).
We hope this clarifies any questions regarding donations and our decision not to become a non-profit at this time. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns, and thanks for reading!